Happy Friday, boys and ghouls!
It’s fitting that I should be getting back on the promotional horse for Terminus at the spookiest time of year. Cold has finally come and I’m tucked away on a mountain with my laptop, reading about death and trying to spin an optimistic and entertaining story out of the premise of speaking to those who have passed on. Good times.
If you’ve missed the other updates, the story has really come together in editorial and my editor, Matt Harry, and I have fleshed out an origin story that gives the initial discovery of this technology its full weight. There’s also a cost to the technology that was only alluded to in the first manuscript, something that will add even more stakes to the question of the Terminus’s personal, political, and religious implications. I can’t wait to share the details, but let’s start at the top!
There’s a new summary up on the website. You can also check it out below:
Exploring universal spiritual questions through the lens of scientific breakthrough, Terminus follows a research team whose experiments with unexplored energy spectrums inadvertently uncover a window to the beyond. It’s a breakthrough that cost the project head his life, drawing his estranged daughter into the mystery of his death. She joins his team at their remote desert facility – the lab in which her father died – to hear his first messages from the other side. As they race to validate and refine the signal, the team is faced with the suddenly literal ghosts of their past, exploring the emotional, ethical, and societal implications of developing such a technology. They also uncover a flaw in the system that causes the contacted spirits to disintegrate, casualties of mankind’s search for life after death. When her father’s old partner attempts to take control of the project and bring it public, Charlotte must decide whether to destroy the Terminus or allow it to be unleashed on the world.
I’ve also posted the first of the character profiles over on my website, starting with the protagonist, Charlotte Rai. Profiles for the rest of the team will be added in the coming weeks.
Things are picking up! I am nested, inspired, and ready to rewrite! Stay up-to-date with the late night agony and self-doubt (all part of the process) over on Twitter.
As always, I appreciate every single one of you who has supported the book and gotten me to this point! If you haven’t preordered yet, the party is back on! Spread the word!
Hope all of you have a great weekend! Things may seem scary, but I firmly believe that there is something greater out there connecting us. Plus, ’tis the season to get spooky. Peace, y’all!
Greetings, Patient Readers!
I’ve gone and done it. Packed all my worldly belongs, piled all three dogs into the car, and made the six day cross-country drive from Virginia to Oregon. Moving and settling in have been a bit of a whirlwind, but I finally feel settled enough for the real work to begin in earnest.
During this whole blur, I’ve been in contact with my editor, Matt Harry, and we’ve put together a version of the book that is better than I could have imagined. We’ve gone through treatments and character profiles and outlines, and stripped the story down to its thematic essence. As someone who tends to meander after pretty butterflies while writing, this developmental edit was a chance to buckle down and put in the work. I’m not a scientist of any sort, but I’m enough of a nerd to be stoked just having books about quantum mechanics around the house.
That’s the core of it, walking the line between fringe science and the next horizon, building a system that both alludes to historical belief and leaves room for interpretation. No pressure, right?
The story that I had told in my initial manuscript was more of a second or third entry in what I hope to be a series of novels. First, we needed an origin story. If this is a story about a miraculous breakthrough, let us be there to witness it. How did it happen? What was the cost? Who decided to commercialize the technology and make it available to the public? Was there disagreement amongst those who made the discovery? Oh, you bet there was.
Rather than vague allusions to a creator who died to bring the machine online, we get to see his story unfold, witnessing first contact with the dead through the eyes of his estranged daughter. And that’s what this is for me – a story of family. It’s a story of fathers and daughters, of past and present, of legacy and identity. It’s a story of the strangers that we’re drawn to, of the unexplained resonance that we feel in the presence of others.
We’re hammering out the last few details and then I’ll have more news – new teasers, character profiles, and samples. I still can’t believe that I actually ran off to the woods to write. Hah! I’ll bite the bullet and be the madwoman on the mountain, ranting about the afterlife - so you don’t have to!
If you’d like to read more about the cross-country adventure, I’ve been writing it up in my blog. I’m also working on pulling together my portfolio, so I’ll also be posting new shorts and samples over on my website. (jayemilius.com, since my html doesn’t seem to be working.)
Hope things are good with you, lovely reader, and thanks again for your patience. Cheers!
Just a quick update to let you know that things are moving behind the scenes on Terminus. After some great conversations with the Inkshares staff, a lot of reading about craft, and digging in on story beats and character profiles, I’ve turned in my treatment for the rewrite. Without getting too deep into any spoilery details, we’re focusing in on the origin of the technology that allows the living to communicate with the dead. In the initial manuscript, the Terminus was already up and running, but the new take will follow the team that created it and the interpersonal drama as they come face-to-face with the literal ghosts of their past. I’ve been able to explore many of the same themes and questions, only within the microcosm of a smaller group of individuals, which makes it feel like a much more personal (and hopefully relatable) story.
My editor, the wonderful Matt Harry, has been sending me feedback that has my brain all a’tingle. We’re currently focusing in on the science and on ratcheting up the stakes. It really does feel like tuning an instrument. Too flat… tighten a bit more… just so. You can’t play until you have your foundation solidly in place.
This does mean that it’ll be a little longer before the book is in your hands. Those of you who’ve already preordered made enough noise to give me the opportunity – not just to put out a book - but to do so with the help of the pros and get this story in a position to be even better than I could have dreamed. There’s a lot of work ahead and I can’t wait to be fully unleashed on the rewrites!
But first… adventure! I have an unique opportunity to relocate to the West Coast and continue my job remotely while focusing on editorial for Terminus. You all have given me this shot and I’m ready to give it everything I’ve got! The move has also been a long time coming. My mother and sister live on the West Coast, along with some of my best friends, and it’s been years since I’ve seen them. We’ll finally be able to do holidays together! Plus, gorgeous Oregon scenery, freedom from Cubicle World and the chance to chase my dreams! Holy crap.
If a week of cross-country driving with three confused dogs sounds like fun, I’ll be blogging the experience over on my website. Plus, that’s 55 hours to immerse myself in Cosmos and podcasts. Researching and power-driving! I do love to multi-task.
I just wanted to say thanks one more time before embarking on this crazy voyage. “To infinity and beyond!”
Hey there, folks!
Happy summer! ‘Tis the perfect season to curl up in a dark room and ponder our mortality, right? Heh. I suppose I’m just speaking for myself, there. Weird hobbies.
I don’t have anything new to report on Terminus, though we are still in the editorial mix. Inkshares is a relatively small publisher with limited resources, so I’m in the queue with a lot of other great projects. I’ve also been lucky enough to be placed in a workshop with other authors who have projects slated for release in 2018. It’s a very cool approach, with on-the-craft reading assignments, worksheets on characters and story beats, peer feedback – basically a crash course in fundamentals from the Inkshares pros. (Even in my 30s, I still LOVE homework!)
This process has already taken the manuscript that I had and expanded the foundation of the story, especially when it comes to the origin of the technology that allows the living to speak with the dead. There are so many directions that this story could take, so many implications to explore, that my challenge now is committing to a handful of central threads and creating a solid introduction to this world. With any luck, I’ll be able to keep on exploring the world of Terminus in successive stories and work my way through this constantly-growing list of potential characters and scenarios. Thank you for daring to journey down this rabbit hole with me!
In the interest of not wasting this chance and giving you the best possible version of this story, I’ve also decided to take a step back from my day job for a few months. In August, I’ll be moving from Virginia to Oregon. Not only will I finally get to live near my mother, sister, and BFFs, but – with my savings and a lot of frugality – I’ll be able to put off the job search for a bit and focus writing. It’s a terrifying thought, unplugging after eleven years in the corporate world, but you all have given me a shot at my dream and I refuse to give anything less than 800%!
So, yeah, exciting things on the horizon. Scary things and lots of hard work on the editing front, but I am READY. Let’s get dead!
Ahem. In, like, a life-affirming way. You know what I mean. For all the apparent darkness, this is ultimately a story about optimism and the value of life. I can’t wait to share the new, evolved version with you! In the meantime, you can follow along with the process on Twitter.
Thanks again for your support and patience! Have a lovely summer!
Greetings and salutations on this most Monday of mornings! (here in the US)
Greetings, lovely people!
Happy Friday (here in the U.S., at least)! I hope you’re settling in for some weekend relaxation. Might I offer you some light Terminus-related reading?
While we wait our turn in the publication queue, I’ve been getting myself together and working on a shiny, new writing website. I’ll be posting new Terminus content - additional perspectives, unused scenes, all the varied aspects of communicating with the dead that are just begging to be explored. First up, a look inside the high-end auction houses that sell meetings with the famous dead. Check it out at the link below.
Next up, a priest! How would proof of the afterlife affect the religious? And why do I so enjoy writing weird stuff like this??
I’ve also added samples of some of my other projects and look forward to continuing to share more wild and wacky words with you. Check it out, perhaps?
Hope you have a great weekend! Cheers, y’all!
Greetings, Party People!
Hello from Editorial Limbo! Exciting things are happening behind the scenes and I hope to have some news - and even new content - soon. Just the opportunity to go through this publishing process - getting feedback and help from the pros, researching all sorts of mind-bending science, and getting a glimpse of all the exciting places that this could go - is a dream come true. And that’s thanks to YOU.
A lot of work goes into making a manuscript into a real, published book. There’s a great post from the Inkshares blog with the details here. As soon as I have any news on the timeline, you will too. In the meantime, Inkshares is putting out plenty of great titles. I definitely encourage you to explore and check out the new, sleek site design.
So I’m still lurkin’, still workin’, still sending you my eternal gratitude. Hope all’s well in your neck of the woods. And, if not, please accept this heaping helping of positive vibes.
Greetings, Lovely People!